I doubt that the Gayfer’s vineyard still exists; it made way for a highway upgrade. I have not found information on the internet, apart from a passing reference to the “Roscoe’s fortified; I’ll need some serious prowling through my old books unless readers can assist.
Durif makes some very long-living, inky-coloured, robust red table wines in North-east Victoria, and I have examples from All Saints, Anderson, Baileys, Campbells, Morris, and Stanton in & Killeen in my cellar. In recent years, I think there has been more sympathetic winemaking, providing more finesse and complexity in the wines. As well as a standalone varietal wine, its colour and tannins makes Durif a useful blending component in a table wines – usually with Shiraz, and can readily be crafted into a vintage fortified, or a sparkling red. Its use as a varietal fortified is less common now, as more winemakers are enthused by fortifieds incorporating Portuguese grape varieties.
Chiltern is an outlier of Rutherglen, only 20km away, and the wine is an excellent effort from the region. Cork was pretty good – after 45 years, and this bottle had thrown a very heavy tea-leaf-like deposit.
Ruby coloured, with an amber/khaki rim, the aromas are in the mocha plus caramel plus coffee spectrum; sweet spirit is present too. The fruit and spirit combination is quite sweet, and though this wine may seem old-fashioned now, its a charming example of a mature, vintage fortified. The palate smoothly melds the mocha with some vanilla bean, rum and raisin chocolate and sweet brandy spirit- altogether this wine was just the ticket for a winter afternoon with a few ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out) – although not everyone fitted this category exactly.
The wine will endure on its plateau for many more years, and I have not added any points for historic interest – even though tempted.
Drink to 2030, 91 points
2 thoughts on “1972 Gayfer’s (Chiltern) Durif Port”
Just opened a 1979 version of the same wine, one of a few remaining wines left in my Dads cellar when he died.
The cork just held, another year or two and it would have leaked. Beautiful wine that has aged gracefully and is rich complex and long. I met Keith Gayfer not long before he closed up, as you said the Wangaratta bypass meant he had no highway access to his cellar door. Also he was deep in his 70’s then and decided to take the VicRoads compensation and retire. Rare and historic wine these days…my father loved his wines
Thanks for aiding to the Gayfer’s story; the wines are hard to come by, and glad you had a grand experience with one of your wines that provided reminiscence and pleasures.